Sunday, January 23, 2011

Engaged On All Levels by Beth Kreitl

In yoga we often talk about connection of mind, body and spirit. We work to bring a conscious effort to that union throughout our practice. Imagine a teacher blending humor, spirit, and physical challenge in a way that invites this beautiful connection. This was my personal experience of taking a Master class with Janet Stone. 

It was nearly a year ago, and I had just completed one of the most wonderful and demanding experiences of my life. I had just completed my 200-hour yoga teacher certification. I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted, yet excited and hopeful.

I stepped into a warm, spacious studio in Chicago, full of eager students. Janet created a sense of community between us right away as we circled closely around her and chanted to Ganesha. From there she led us through a practice that artfully connected poses in a way that asked us to dig deep on every level. She encouraged us to call to mind our obstacles; she requested that we listen to our bodies instead of our egos; she created a space to laugh as she playfully integrated her “west coast humor.”

So the invitation is to consider what you need today. Perhaps you need to rejuvenate your practice. Perhaps you need a deliberate chance to connect deeply to yourself. Perhaps you need to work through difficulties on a physical level. Perhaps you need to explore humor as part of your yoga practice. Perhaps you need it all. This class may be just that opportunity.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Roots by Lauren Znachko

I have been to Yoga classes in Australia, Chicago, Costa Rica, New York and Toronto. I have spread my mat on many lawns, beaches, porches, canyons and hotel rooms. I have sprung a down dog in gas station parking lots, buddhist temples, living room floors and yes, even in the shower. But no matter if I find the the most enlightened guru or the the most serene view, I will always say that my yoga roots started in a little studio in Bloomington, Indiana called Vibe.

Ignite Power. Infuse Energy. Inspire Peace. If you have ever read these phrases on the website or worn a tank top with a portion of it printed across the front, then you have participated in some sacred moments not only in my personal practice, but in the practice of an entire community. Laura Patterson offered me a job behind the desk at the studio before I even knew what Vibe was. In typical fashion of a recent IU graduate I was not quite ready to leave but not entirely sure how to stay in this magical little town of Bloomington. But behind the desk at Vibe I was given the opportunity have a stake in something I believed in, to invest in something burgeoning and to invite the many joyful and weary spirits that walked through the door every day for class. When Laura asked me to help create a tag line for what Vibe was as a community it was not difficult to find potent and true words to match my experience.

Although I spent many hours on my mat in the studio at Vibe, I also spent a lot of time sweeping the floors at Vibe. Although I attended my first teacher training at Vibe, I also observed every day the talented and compassionate teachers that came to teach class. While I lived in Bloomington, Vibe was more than just a place to practice, and it was much more than the place where I worked. My experience at Vibe ignited a power in my practice on my mat. It infused me with an energy to pursue that practice off of my mat. And it inspired with the peace that when it was time to leave and grow, I had what I needed.

So, maybe you can imagine how great it feels for me to come back to Vibe. After time away of travel, training, and practice, it feels like a true experience of yoga to return--the union of a dream and a manifestation of that dream.